Firefighters say they are making gains against wildfires that have been threatening Los Angeles for a week but there could be worse to come.
A change in the weather has allowed crews to contain more than a fifth of the fire, which had already forced thousands of people to evacuate. Steve Wintmore of the LA county Sheriff’s Department told reporters: “In the Sheriff’s Department we have evacuated homes, about 4,300. LAPD is about 2,000 so that is 6,300 evacuations and the people that are not leaving, what we are doing is jotting down their names and their addresses so we can notify the next of kin if we need to.” Moist air on Tuesday allowed fire crews to gain control of more than a fifth of the blaze, which had crept towards the northern fringes of LA. But the respite may be shortlived. California’s wildfire season usually begins in October. The state, which is struggling under financial pressure due to the recession, has already spent over half of its annual firefighting budget just two months into the fiscal year. Fighting this fire alone has cost an estimated 14 million dollars.